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Don't you just love the feel of aluminum?

May 2, 2012 - Rob Weaver
We constantly monitor cable news channels at The A-T. The TV set on the far left of the newsroom usually is tuned to CNN; the set on the far right is tuned to Fox News (it's fairly obvious how we keep that straight).

This means that lately we’ve had a steady diet of TV commercials in which actor William Devane makes a pitch for investing in gold. He says things such as “you can’t print gold” and “don’t you just love the feel of gold?”

He sounds rather convincing, which probably is why TV commercials often feature actors, even though the viewing audience knows they are professionals at reciting scripts in a credible manner.

I have to admit, I think I’d like the feel of gold, too, although if the global economy were to go belly-up, I’m not sure gold would be of much use. Brass and lead would probably be better investments, and the best gold for purposes of bartering would be golden grains and golden lagers.

But out of curiosity, I looked up the price of gold to see whether I could afford to buy some. As of the moment I am writing this, the price is $1,653.25 per ounce. Meanwhile, I have exactly $24.37 in my pockets. If I could find some spare change in my truck, I might be able to scrape together enough cash to buy 15/1000ths of an ounce of gold.

That’s not enough to buy gold dust. More like gold lint.

So, I looked up the going price for silver instead. (I invested in quite a bit of silver years ago with the help of my old dentist.) Silver is selling for $30.61 per ounce. If I save another six or seven bucks, I could buy — what? A silver coin?

That thought inspired me to alter my investment vehicle to a different precious metal: copper. Copper is selling for $3.7855 per pound at the moment I am writing this, and right now I can convert my cash to ... 2,437 pennies! And my online sources say it only takes 181 pennies to make a pound!

There’s one problem, though. Since 1982, pennies have been minted from blanks containing 92 percent zinc.

But hold on. There is a metal into which I can sink my money. Aluminum is going for 93 cents a pound right now. And I plan to begin investing in aluminum immediately.

One can at a time.


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